Grumbling

In the KJV, the word is “murmuring.”

  • Matthew 20:11 And when they had received [a denarius], they complained against the landowner.
  • Luke 5:30 But the Pharisees and their scribes complained against the disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
  • Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.”
  • Luke 19:7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest of a man who is a sinner.”
  • John 6:41 The Jews then complained about Him because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.”
  • John 6:43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves.”
  • John 6:61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?”
  • John 7:12 There was much complaining among the people concerning Him.  Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.”
  • John 7:32 The Pharisees heard the crown murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and chief priests sent officers to take Him.
  • Acts 6:1 Now, in those days, when the disciples were multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:10 …nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
  • Philippians 2:14 Do all things without complaining or disputing.
  • 1 Peter 4:9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
  • Jude 16 These are grumblers, complainers [discontent], walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.

Summary of grumbling in the historical books:

  • “This is wrong.”
  • Implies indignation.
  • The grumbling may or may not be spoken to the one against whom the complaint arose.

Example of grumbling cited from the Old Testament (1 Corinthians 10:10)

  • Israel grumbled many times. This description best fits Numbers 16:41 – 50, the grumbling against Moses and Aaron after Korah’s clan was swallowed by the earth.  See also
    • Exodus 15:22 – 27 (water)
    • Exodus 16:1 – 12 (food)
    • Exodus 17:1 – 7 (water)
    • Numbers 11:1 – 3 (unknown)
    • Numbers 11:4 – 34 (meat)
    • Numbers 14:1 – 38, Deuteronomy 1:26 – 40 (new leadership)
    • Numbers 16:1 – 35 (new leadership)
    • Numbers 17:1 – 13 (new leadership)

Warnings about grumbling among Christians

  • Jude 16 Grumbling is one of many characteristics of church-goers who are not Christians.  Grumbling is a symptom of “natural man” thinking, emptiness, or manipulation.
  • 1 Peter 4:9 Grumbling about hospitality is complaining that sharing is unfair.  Grumbling is a symptom of a lack of love for one another or of failing to employ a gift from God or of misunderstanding the role of suffering.
  • Philippians 2:14 The positive statement of the same idea is in 2:3 – 7.  Grumbling is a symptom of selfish ambition, conceit, or dissatisfaction with God’s work in us (2:13).